Winterizing Canna Bulbs


Canna are tender summer blooming bulbs native to tropical and subtropical regions, according to the University of Minnesota. Canna, also called canna lilies, have large leaves and striking flowers on long stalks. They are only hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 though 11, so they cannot survive harsh winters in much of the U.S. If you have canna lily bulbs planted in your yard, you have to prepare them properly for winter, or they will not bloom the next year.

Step 1

Cut back the canna's foliage once it dies back due to frost. Cut back the stems about 4 to 5 inches.

Step 2

Dig up the bulbs with a spade, being careful not to sever the roots, and lay them out to dry in a dark room. It may take one to three days for the bulbs to fully dry.

Step 3

Prepare a box with a 3-to-4-inch layer of sand in it. Place the dry canna bulbs in the box, and cover them with the sand.

Step 4

Place the box in a dry, dark place with a steady temperature of around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Scissors
  • Sand
  • Box


  • University of Minnesota: CALLA AND CANNA LILIES
  • Modular Wetlands: Hardiness Zone 9
  • National Gardening Association: Canna
  • University of Illinois: Storing Tender Flower Bulbs for the Winter
  • University of Minnesota: Storing Tender Bulbs and Bulblike Structures
Keywords: winterize canna bulbs, winterizing canna bulbs, winterize canna

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.